Marisa Anderson press imageWell, fall is here, and I’ve had an action packed summer. Highlights include a beautiful residency on the island of Fano as the Artist-in -Residence for the Fano Free Folk Festival and an awesome swimming-hole filled tour with Circuit Des Yeux. I’m so happy to be out there meeting people and playing music, and Fall 2015 promises more of the same! I’m headed back to Europe in October, with stops in Ireland, Finland, France and Spain.  On November 13 Footfalls Records will release their debut LP, a split 12″ featuring Tashi Dorji and I each taking a different side.

The next full length is on the way; look for it in Spring 2016. I’m crazy excited to share this one with the world, as I really went some new places with it.  The record features 10 new songs, created as the score to an imaginary sci-fi western multi-tracked(!) and built around me playing the pedal steel (!!)  In making this record I wanted to address issues surrounding border politics and immigration and ask the questions  who is an outsider, what are they outside of, and who is entitled to decide?  I was inspired compositionally and sonically by Ennio Morricone, and by two specific records-Bruce Langhorne’s The Hired Hand and Willie Nelson’s The Red-Headed Stranger.


European fall/winter tour continues! I’m headed out tomorrow for a month of shows opening for Sharon Van Etten.  Can’t wait to get back to Europe!

Click here to watch my TIny Desk Concert at NPR!

tiny desk

With Beth Ditto in Germany

Beth Ditto

Gala magazine 20th anniversary party!

beth:marisa germany 5 b:w

In my living room with Kildjate Moussa Albadé (Tisdass, Tinaweran, Group Bombino) . This was a fantastic evening, look for more footage/recordings to come!

Spring 2014 tour highlights….


I played a lovely sunset show outdoors in Marfa in April. One of my favorite shows of the tour. Thanks Ballroom Marfa!


The kids in Marfa

Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music vinyl re-issue release party! I had a blast performing  songs off of the anthology and sharing the stage with Michael Hurley, Jolie Holland, Jessika Kenney, Lori Goldston, Danny Sasaki and Dragging An Ox Through Water.

Harry Smith by John Keel

Last night’s show to celebrate the re-release of Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk Music was such a treat. Michael Hurley, Jolie Holland, Jessica Kenney, Lori Goldston, Dragging an Ox Through Water, plus Harry Smith films and footage of the man himself!

I had a real nice time  on OPB’s Think Out Loud, talking about and playing music…stream it here!

WIntery day at the OPB studio

WIntery day at the OPB studio

Here’s a link to the newest record-vinyl is sold out, but you can download it or pick up a CD

some reviews..

“…the record achieves a mesmerizing, wondrous effect. Anderson extracts a hair-raising, reverb-rich sound from her guitar as she takes “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and unravels it, only to knit it back together as an instrumental form in which the melody is recognizable but the general tone is altogether new and nothing at all like a sing-along.

Anderson shows great range on the album. She achieves a raw, expressive sound on “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” and a beautiful spacious quality on “Farther Along.” The songs are compact: None runs longer than four minutes, and most are closer to two. But Anderson treats them like little boxes full of mystery. They linger after they’re played.”

Andrew Dansby/Houston Chronicle

..Anderson is mesmerizing – from the freer interpretations, such as the shamanistic “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” to straighter renditions, such as the Merle Travis thumb-hop of “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”

-Boston Hassle

and I’m on a split 7″ with Elizabeth Cotten!

details here:

and here:




yeah! the record is out!

Here’s what The Wire  says:

“Mercury” offers 16 concise tracks in 35 minutes, replete with character, ornery attitude and sheer musical pleasure…Anderson’s playing is heartfelt and utterly American-free from grandstanding and steeped in respect for the old tradition.”

and here’s what Pitchfork has to say

“Mercury is the brilliant new album of acoustic and electric whirlwinds from Portland, Ore., guitarist Marisa Anderson. Through its 16 tracks, Anderson unfolds as a master of stylistic swivels, pushing from steady-handed blues staggers to open-road pontifications, from understated ragas to psychedelic meditations with a deliberate quality that belies the record’s title. She’s a fleet, dexterous picker with a broad sense of what her guitar can do; through all those looks, however, she never discards the melody or the cadence for flashy technique or selfish tangents. “

and here’s where you can buy it

MERCURY front 1400x1400


god bless america

Jan1 2013

Happy New Year. I’m locked in the studio until the record is done! I have a deadline, and I hope it’s not too presumptuous to say that the record will be here in ..May? yes. May.

I’m feeling some gratitude for what a great year 2012 was.  Thanks for the good times  Jodi Darby,  Signal Fire, Doug Keith, Sharon Van Etten, Secret Drum Band, Creative Music Guild, Ben Fragments Sanair, and so many others.


November 12

Just landed in Bologna, where it’s grey and damp and looks a lot like Portland. Jet lagged but excited to start this round of shows tomorrow. Last week was kind of epic in the variety of shows I played-4 year old’s birthday party, farmers market, grocery store punk show…and now Europe!

October 23

An eventful month-I had the privilege of opening for John Fahey (on celluloid) and I submitted a song to this comp:

which is raising money to support grand jury resistors in the Northwest. Currently two people are being held for contempt of court for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury. Read more about it by following the link, and download the music to support them.

September 11

11 years ago today I was traveling with a circus from Boston to New York. I remember seeing more cop cars than I’d ever seen before. We never made it to New York that day and I still don’t know who it was that we stayed with in North Hampton and then in Philadelphia, but I do have a memory of going to a farm to pick produce for someone’s CSA.

August 1 2012

I’m working on the new record, and booking a European tour in November and December. Write me if you want to help with a show, especially in England, Holland or Belgium!

March 23 2012

Last night I kicked off the tour in Arcata. Good fun at Missing Link records. Those guys are so nice and they made me feel so welcome! Go there and say hi if you find yourself in Arcata. Everything is coming together nicely and I’m excited to be back out on the road. It’s been a long long time.  I spent today driving down 101. I’ve probably made that drive 100 times in my life, it’s so familiar and comforting to drive through the redwoods and along the rivers. Lots of snow yesterday leaving the northwest, I’m happy to be heading into sunnier weather! Looking forward to the desert.

Feb 5 2012

I’m opening up the show tonight for Neal Morgan’s record release-it’s going to be a good one! Lot’s of guest players a video premier to boot! I’m first-8:50, so get there on time people.

I’m headed east at the end of March.  So far, it’s the Bay Area, Tucson, Santa Fe, Nashville and a bunch of Northeast shows. Still looking for shows between Nashville and NYC, in particular DC, Philly, and Baltimore. Let me know if you’ve got any leads! After the Northeast I’m headed to Europe for a month, and then coming home along the top of the US.  Where should I play in Montana?

It’s shaping up to be an excellent spring.

January 5 2012

Oh geez happy new year!! It’s starting to get busy.  I’ll be working hard on the new record over the next couple of months, and hopefully I’ll be able to turn it in to the geniuses at Mississippi Recs before I leave for Europe in the spring! If you have any requests about places I should play in Europe, contact me. Right now it looks like I’ll do ten days in France and then hop over to the UK. But I’m open to suggestion folks! Also planning a short West Coast jaunt in March, and hopefully some shows in the Northeast in April-again, let me know if you want me to come to your town. I’m excited to be collaborating with Lori Goldston (Earth, Black Cat Orchestra, and a million others) on a couple of shows this month as well. The Secret Drum Band will be performing in LA at the end of February, dates to be announced, and I’ll likely play a solo set at one of those shows as well.

November 25

I can’t believe it’s almost December already. I started working on the next record a couple of weeks ago. It’ll come out on Mississippi Records once its done.

Check out this great interview I got to do on Foxy Digitalis!

Also coming up are two shows in mid-December, one at Backspace and one at Holocene with a 7 person drum/drone ensemble playing a piece written by Lisa Schonberg and performed by an excellent ensemble comprised of Lisa, sts, Heather Treadway, Rachel Blumberg, Clea Partridge, Tara Jane O’Neil and myself. The Holocene night (December 14) will also feature sets by the 1939 Ensemble and yours truly.

Winter Solstice Puppet Show 2011 edition is in production. Look for us at Disjecta on December 21. We’ll do an early show and a late show, not sure of the times. Come celebrate the solstice with us!

October 15

Last night’s Electrogals was great-tonight’s will be too! And check it out!! The Music From Saharan Cell Phones remix is done! This is one of the most amazing projects I’ve ever been involved with-songs collected from cell phone SD cards in Mali, released on cassette and vinyl in the US, remixed and re-interpreted by 17 western musicians and released on SD cards to be sent back to Mali. Incredible. Do yourself a big favor and check it out at Boomarmnation !

More good things are coming up-the Creative Music Guild is starting a bi-monthly series of avant garde and experimental music. The first one is November 16 at Revival Drums and the line up is me and Doug Theriault. Also on the radar is the Secret Drum Band, a 6 piece, all female drum and noise ensemble curated by Lisa Schonberg. I’m playing lapsteel. We’ll be performing December 13 at Backspace and December 14 at Holocene.

October 6

Fall! It’s here. And it smells good. I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming up-tonight is the birthday party for In Other Words, Sunday I’ll be playing a couple of hours at the Lents Farmers Market, October 14 at Electrogals festival, and October 16 at Valentines.The next few months bring some good things-I’ll be working with Lisa Schonberg on a percussion piece for 6 drummers and two guitarists, the Winter Solstice Puppet show will swing into action, and I’ll be recording the next record! Lots to look forward to right now. Readjusting to Portland after 5 weeks traveling in Europe. It was a fantastic tour. Thank you Mr Henrickson, Tizio, Kraak, Bridget, and all the people I stayed with and played with.  What a treat. I’m already in the planning stages of a spring tour in France and beyond. Keep it coming!

August 15

The shows are coming together and I’m getting ready to leave for Europe. Rock Camp is over for the summer. 250 kids, 60 bands, 4 weeks. Played an awesome set last week at Pickathon with Thao and Lisa Schonberg. Improv in the workshop barn and then front row for Mavis Staples yeah! Fun playing with Lori Goldston at Cherry Sprout a couple weeks ago too. It’s been a great summer for music; I hope it carries on into the fall!

July 8

Returned from an epic trip to Los Angeles. It was great! Drove down the coast and played for the nice kids in Santa Cruz-big shout out to John at Metavinyl for hosting the show and Travis for curating it. Big Sur was beautiful and Los Angeles was so fun!! Thanks Jen Hofer, Rob Ray, and Jessica Catron  for the music, bike rides, roof sleeping and strong coffee! Back to Portland up highway 99-the inland empire was blazing at 105 degrees in the shade. Home to Portland just in time for hiding out from the fireworks.

May 16

So much going on! Working on a piece for  remix project compilation based off of reworks of the “Music From Saharan Cell Phones” mix tape, released on cassette last fall by Mississippi records . The comp is being organized by the awesome boomarmnation. Also working on a collaborative film/audio piece with Jodi Darby to screen in July as part of the My Favorite Things performance series. It’s gonna run July 20 at Holocene, and this one is being curated by Mike McGonigal of Yeti fame. It’s a benefit for the IPRC here in Portland. Also working on an awesome collaboration with Lisa Schonberg who is writing a multi-movement percussion piece to be performed in October in Portland. I’ll be adding guitar noise to the piece. What else? Getting ready to tour in Europe in September! So much to do to get ready. I’ll be in Italy the first half of September and then I’m headed north into the rest of Europe. I’ll post the dates as soon as the shows are confirmed!  Spent last weekend playing shows in Seattle and Portland with Thao and Mirah-so fun! And good press lately;  I’m honored and excited by a really great review in the most recent Signal to Noise calling The Golden Hour the “first great guitar record of 2011” .Last but not least, I just finished another fantastic Ladies Rock Camp weekend at my day job at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls. We guided 23 women from all over the country in a three day workshop of instrument instruction and songwriting and put them onstage at Mississippi Studios to perform the pieces they’d written.  No matter how many times I produce this weekend, I’m always uplifted and inspired by the work that is created and the joy and mutual support that infuses the weekend.

April 7

Getting ready for a night of Sinead O’Connor songs! I’m super excited to play with this band-such a good line-up!  I’m headed down to the Bay Area and points further south in late June-contact me-I want to play for you! Italy in the fall is coming together too. Things are good.

March 3

Hooray! The stars have lined up so that on Monday March 7 the Evolutionary Jass Band is getting back together for one night only!! Jef is back from LA, Bob is on tour through Portland and we are gonna play all night long! Can’t wait for this. What a good surprise.

I’m gonna travel down to the Bay and back in a few weeks. Playing a couple of record store in-stores, a house show and a goat farm in Ashland! Come and say hi. Tell your friends.

February 16

Booking a small northern california tour for late march. Look for me in eugene, arcata, davis and the bay area. I’ll be there.

January 18

Just booked the release party for The Golden Hour. February 26 at the Eagles Lodge in Portland on SE Hawthorne.

Played a great show the other night for Venable’s Variable at The Big Country. Accompanied Cynthia Nelson and played a small solo set. So fun! Thanks Vanessa and Elizabeth!

I want to go on tour in the spring, summer and fall. Anybody out there interested in setting up shows or being a travel buddy? Drop me a line! I’d love to hear what you have to say.

January 8

The record is here! finally! It sounds great and I’m happy.  Expect a release party after these holidays are over.

December 19

Winter Solstice puppet show madness right now. non-stop puppet camp and ridiculous music practice.

Also in the works…new Cynthia Nelson recordings started last Monday. Real nice songs, Katy Davidson is drumming, Margaret Douglas on bass, Daphna Kohn on violin and backup vocals and Cynthia playing and singing her songs.

The Evolutionary Jass Band is riding again-we’re back in the saddle after a six month hiatus and it feels  good! I’m so happy to be playing with these folks!

And, last but not least, the Winter Solstice Puppet Show 2010 is underway. This is year 11 for me-kinda can’t believe it’s been that long! The show is gonna be at Disjecta this year, on the solstice-December 21. It’s free and it only happens one night. You have no excuse not to come.

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